The Lettuce Myths

Seriously? A blog about lettuce?


It happened because I was trying to write a blog about my bucket list, which morphed into two other blogs. There was no continuity with any of the writing, so I gave up, answering the internal lunch bell, AKA, the stomach growlies that scream, “Feed me!”

I lay a bed of kale in a bowl and got out a knife. Immediately, I heard my mother’s voice: Always tear lettuce. If you cut it with a knife, you destroy its flavor. Yes, she used to say that. More than once. Every time I had to set the table and put lettuce on our plates, she said it. I set the table every other night. We had iceberg lettuce with nearly every meal.

And then, not so many years ago, I had this friend who told me she never eats iceberg lettuce because it has no nutritional value; she only eats the other lettuces. I actually laughed at that one because how can one lettuce have 100% nutritional value and the other have 0%? I found that comment irrational from a critical thinking standpoint and because this was coming from a highly degreed individual. Where had that information come from for it to be parroted so strongly?

After that discussion, I will admit, however, that I began to wonder: do different lettuces have different nutritional values?

I did the research.

Yes, different lettuces do have different trace levels of nutrients, but they are trace levels, as in a hundredth of a percent! I reported back to my friend, but she didn’t believe me. She continues to blissfully buy the more expensive lettuces, choosing to believe the marketeers over the science. I continue to buy iceberg, but I’ll admit that I do add spinach and kale to the mix, when wanting to splurge or add a varying blend of green to my plate.

As to the cutting versus tearing myth, I couldn’t find one source that said anything about diminished flavor, but there were many sites that talked about the myth of cut edges turning brown not being true.

Turns out that both these myths were just that: myths.

Of course, now I’m also wondering, where in the heck do these myths come from? What is any myth’s genesis?

The research continues.

This is where I have a love relationship with the Internet. Researching is far easier now than it was pre-Internet.

So, what myths have you debunked or always wondered about?

About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
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